Jules van Schaijik

Joined: Aug. 5, 2011


Happily married to Katie for over 22 years; father of 5 wonderful children; and father in law to one more. (And much more handsome than the picture makes it seem.) I was born and raised in the Netherlands. Went to college in Steubenville, OH, and have been moving between Europe and America ever since. For studies, work, etc. Right now, we are happily ensconced in West Chester, PA, where the town is lively, the surroundings beautiful, the friends friendly, and the cycling club very active. I’m looking forward to many fun and fruitful conversations about things that matter.

Most recent posts by Jules van Schaijik:     (See all of them)

What would Newman say about the Synod?

Nov. 17 at 12:12pm | Comments: 18 | Most recent comment: Nov. 26 at 7:14pm

In a comment under my last post, Freda asks what John Henry Newman might have thought about the recent Synod on the Family in Rome. Specifically, she worries that some of the suggestions made by some of the bishops represent not  developments of what came before, but radical departures from it. I will say a few things about Newman’s distinction between developments and corruptions of doctrine, but the thrust of what follows is a critique of the...

Is all confusion evil? A Socratic thought.

Oct. 28 at 2:10pm | Comments: 6 | Most recent comment: Nov. 17 at 10:42pm

In response to a question after a recent lecture, Archbishop Chaput said about the Synod on the Family that “the public image that came across was one of confusion” and that “confusion is of the devil”. I think I understand what he means by this, and to some extent I agree.  However, there's another, more positive way of looking at it. Not all confusion is of the devil. Some confusion is even salutary—a...

The unity of objectivity and subjectivity in emotion

Sep. 20 at 5:50am | Comments: 13 | Most recent comment: Sep. 22 at 8:45pm

Central to Dietrich von Hildebrand's philosophy of the heart is the idea of "intentionality" or object-directedness. Emotions, he holds, are not just subjective psychological experiences, but meaningful responses—to persons, events or situations. That is why they can be appropriate or inappropriate, reasonable or unreasonable. Like thoughts, emotions have an objective measure, a standard to which they can and should conform. Introduced to this idea of “intentionality” by von Hildebrand more than 25 years ago, I've always associated...

Austen on the need to investigate our feelings

Jul. 31 at 12:45pm | Comments: 3 | Most recent comment: Aug. 1 at 8:38am

I finished Deresiewicz’ delightful book A Jane Austen Education, which I first mentioned a few days ago. Before putting it back on the shelf, I want to mention another of its insights—one that tracks closely with what I have learned from von Hildebrand about the heart as "the real self" (see his The Heart, chapter 8). It has to do with the need to investigate our feelings. For Jane Austen the most obvious responsibility we have...

The moral seriousness of Miss Bates

Jul. 25 at 1:37pm | Comments: 2 | Most recent comment: Jul. 25 at 9:56pm

I picked up A Jane Austen Education by William Deresiewicz yesterday, and already learned something new. It has to do with the extremely talkative Miss Bates, from Emma. Miss Bates has always struck me as pitiable and ridiculous, a character thrown into the novel largely for comic effect. But Deresiewicz has a different angle. He argues that Miss Bates lives "the novel's highest lesson of all": that it is the little things of everyday—the sorts of things talked...

Latest comments by Jules van Schaijik:     (See all of them)

Re: Anyone Encountered Berdyaev?

Nov. 25 at 8:14pm | see this comment in context

Let me know what you think of it.  I have been wanting to pick up something by Berdyaev for a while.  Come January, I expect to have some time for it.

Re: The problem with "consenting adults"

Nov. 22 at 6:22am | see this comment in context

Very interesting comment Kate.  I had never heard the "All sex is rape" line, and up until quite recently would have dismissed it out of hand as just the sort of angry absurdity one would expect from radical feminists. But what you and Katie say here makes a lot of sense.

Re: What would Newman say about the Synod?

Nov. 19 at 8:40pm | see this comment in context

I like that example Katie.  Once a widely shared moral blindness of some sort is exposed as a blindness, insisting on it (though understandable for a while) turns into something worse than a mere blindness.

Re: What would Newman say about the Synod?

Nov. 18 at 10:22pm | see this comment in context

About neutrality.

I added the second paragraph to my post for a few reasons.  The main one is that I do not like to speak for Newman.  Not so much because I think he would not agree, but because 1) I want to be held responsible for my own thoughts, and 2) because I would like to stay on topic, and not get diverted into arguments about what Newman said where and when, and how to interpret it all.

Another reason is that the post is limited. Not biased or slanted I hope, but selective and incomplete.  The many negative conservative reactions to Pope Francis over the last year or so, have brought to mind, to my mind, certain observations and insights of Newman.  I used some of those in my post without any intention of giving a complete or balanced picture of Newman.

This is perfectly legitimate on a forum like this, don't you think?

Re: What would Newman say about the Synod?

Nov. 18 at 8:57pm | see this comment in context

I want to add something about "neutrality".  But first: I just reread these lines in your 2nd comment:

Can't we use Newman's method to determine whether these positions taken in the interim draft represent a corruption of doctrine? 

Someone could surely do this.  Someone who knows both Newman and the theology of marriage and the family very well.  But I am not that someone.  (Plus, I fear that if two such people tried it, they might come up with different and even contradictory answers, depending on their leanings.)

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